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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d94nov1

"The Global Warming Challenge: Understanding and Coping with Climate Change in Canada," H. Hengeveld (Environ. Canada, Downsview ON M3H 5T4, Can.), Environ. Sci. & Technol., 28(12), 519A-523A, Nov. 1994.

Because of its large geographic area and extensive coastline, Canada could be widely and variously affected by climate change, which would necessitate significant adjustments in Canadian society and economy. Summarized is the Canadian Climate Program and research being coordinated through that Program. A national action program, being developed through consultation with stake holders, will be launched in March 1995.

Item #d94nov2

"Decreasing Ozone Causes Health Concern--How Canada Forecasts Ultraviolet-B Radiation," J.B. Kerr (address above), ibid., 514A-518A.

In March 1994, Canada introduced Ozone Watch, a weekly bulletin of the state of the ozone layer over Canada. This public awareness program was developed as an extension of existing programs (weather prediction and monitoring, and monitoring ozone and UV-B). This effort is small compared with existing operations, but potential benefits are large if adverse health effects are decreased. The article details how UV-B is measured, and how the index works, is produced and used.

Item #d94nov3

"The GATT Panel Decision on Automobile Taxes," S. Charnovitz, Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 921-922, Nov. 2, 1994.

In September, a dispute panel of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ruled against the European Community that the U.S. gas guzzler tax on automobiles was consistent with GATT; however it also ruled that some provisions of the U.S. CAFE law violated international trade laws. This is the first complex environmental dispute to come before GATT, and if adopted will be a landmark case. Although some have cited this as evidence that GATT is not a danger to environmental laws, this portrayal as a major shift toward the environment is exaggerated. The most worrisome element is the truncation of GATT Article III to only one portion of a product's life cycle; in this instance GATT seems to be traveling in a different direction than the rest of the world. Before Article III is interpreted in this way, the matter should be carefully studied; the decision should not be adopted by the GATT Council.

Item #d94nov4

"Why Is Environmental Protection So Slow?" B.R. Döös (Global Environ. Mgmt., Jordangasse 7/13, A-1010 Vienna, Austria), Global Environ. Change, 4(3), 179-184, 1994.

Although there were early recognitions that the environment is not an inexhaustible resource, little or no attention was paid to the need for its protection before the 1972 Stockholm Environmental Conference. As new threats are identified, actions designed to reduce environmental degradation continue, for a variety of reasons, to be slow and insufficient. Scientists do not always present results in a form easily interpreted by policy makers; the general public is receiving insufficient objective information. Scientists, who represent a minority view on an issue, are often favored by governments. Makes several suggestions for scientists, the mass media, environmental groups and others.

Item #d94nov5

"Mini-Rio Summit: An Innovative Method for Teaching the Policy Relevance of Earth System Science," C. Gautier (Earth-Space Res. Group, CRSEO, Ellison Hall, Univ. California, Santa Barbara CA 93106), D. Schweizer, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 75(11), 2171-2174, Nov. 1994.

To teach the policy relevance of earth system science, a "mini-Rio Summit" has been added to the University's curriculum. This encourages dialogue among students, who take the parts of various nations, on topics of global changes, and broadens their awareness of political and socioeconomical considerations.

Item #d94nov6

"Sequestration of Atmospheric Carbon in India's Forests," A.N. Chaturvedi (Tata Energy Res. Inst., India Habitat Ctr., Lodi Rd., New Delhi - 110 003, India), Ambio, 23(7), 460-461, Nov. 1994.

Briefly details the uses of forests in India, where the possibility of increasing forest cover or carbon sequestration is minimal without changes in management. These could include introducing forestry management with long harvest rotations, and reducing the livestock populations grazing in the forests.

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